Father Wayland Brown
Archdiocese of Baltimore/Savannah
- 1973-1977: St. Rose of Lima Church (Gaithersburg, MD)
- 1978-1986: St. James Church and School (Savannah, GA )
- 1986: Treatment at St. Luke Institute in Maryland
- 1987-1988: Associate Pastor, St. James Church (Savannah, GA )
- 1988: Removed from active ministry
- 2004: Laicized
Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Wayland Brown:
Father Wayland Brown was ordained a Catholic priest in 1977 and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Savannah, GA. In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Father Brown.
According to the AG’s report, in 2004, Brown pleaded guilty in Montgomery County to sexual child abuse and battery. Brown sexually abused a 12-year-old boy from 1973 to 1975 while Brown was at seminary in Washington, DC, and working at St. Rose of Lima Church in Gaithersburg. Brown befriended the boy’s mother and stayed at their house, sleeping in the boy’s bedroom. Brown fondled and raped the boy in the boy’s bedroom, in the church’s rectory, and in Brown’s dorm room at the seminary. Brown was also charged with sexually abusing the younger brother of the victim. Brown received 15 years’ incarceration, with all but ten years suspended and five years supervised probation. He was required to register as a sex offender.
The Diocese of Savannah said the Maryland abuse was the first report of child abuse by Brown and that he was removed from his position in 1988 for “personality problems.” However, a priest who worked with Brown in Savannah said Brown was removed in 1987 after parents complained about his “horseplay” with teenagers at a pool party.
Another victim sued the Diocese of Savannah for abuse committed by Brown between 1978 and 1983, beginning when the victim was ten years old. The diocese settled in 2009 for $4.24 million dollars.
In 2016, the Diocese of Savannah settled a second lawsuit involving Brown for $4.5 million dollars. Brown abused the victim in the 1980s when he was 13 years old, and Brown was a priest at Saint James in Savannah. The lawsuit alleged that Brown admitted “indiscretions” with children to Savannah Bishop Raymond Lessard in the mid-80s. According to press accounts, law enforcement in Savannah said when they began investigating Brown, the Diocese of Savannah tried to “hide” him. In 1986, when detectives were trying to arrest Brown, the Diocese told Brown and arranged to move him to Maryland, where he entered St. Luke Institute for treatment.
In 2017, Brown was living in Baltimore after completing his prison sentence for the Montgomery County case. The Archdiocese of Baltimore sent Brown a letter telling him that he was not permitted to be involved in any volunteer or employment activity within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese or allowed on the property of the Archdiocese “other than to attend regularly scheduled sacramental celebrations.”
In 2019, Brown pleaded guilty to nine charges, including six counts of child sex abuse, for sexual abuse that occurred in South Carolina in 1978 and 1988. The two victims were between the ages of 11 and 14 when Brown abused them. He was sentenced to 20 years of incarceration. In 1978, Brown befriended one of the victims and drove him on trips, including to South Carolina. He raped the victim during those trips, and the abuse continued into 1979. Brown was listed as credibly accused by the Diocese of Savannah but not Baltimore.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Maryland, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide. We can help. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.